Author's Note: So once again, for those of you who read the original, you will see a deviation from the original but you'll also catch the references to the original too. At least I hope so. I did try. I think I like this one better honestly.
On a Moonless Night
"You look stressed."
I looked up at Colin feeling a little dazed. It took me a few more seconds before I actually processed what he had said. Colin saw all of that and he was going to give me Hell for it. Something I realized as soon as I got it. "I'm fine Colin," I lied.
It was met with a derisive snort.
"I am!" I insisted. "I'm just a little tired that's all."
"And worried about your car," Colin pressed. My shoulders slumped and I refused to look at the man. A hand rested on my shoulder. "It's alright Emma. You'll get it fixed. Why don't I give you a ride home tonight? It's not like I don't live next door or anything."
That was true and the wonderful advantage of working for the guy who had helped you get onto your feet in the first place. "You know I can walk," I pointed out more for the sake of my pride than anything.
Another snort. "And there is no moon out if you hadn't noticed. There is no way that I am letting you walk home alone on a night like this Emma."
A smile touched my lips. "You know, that just means there are no werewolves out tonight. Shouldn't tonight be the sanest night of the lunar cycle? I mean people go a little crazy on the full moon so shouldn't it be just the opposite on a new moon?"
"That would be the half moon. And since when are you so interested in astronomy?" he asked.
I shrugged. "Since you brought up the fact that it's a new moon tonight."
Colin started to reply but then thought better of it. Instead he smiled and shook his head. "Just finish up your dinner and get back on the floor," he shot back still half-smiling. "And don't you dare leave without me tonight." I gave him a mock salute as he slipped out of the employee break room at the back of the diner.
I looked back down at my dinner and recommenced pushing it around the plate. I hadn't eaten since the oatmeal that morning and though I knew my body could use it, the thought of eating wasn't something I was really relishing. I could take it home for Carrie's lunch though. I made sure that I covered the food carefully before slipping it into the mini fridge and going across the room to check the phone in my bag.
Only necessity had forced me to actually put my battery back in and power on my phone. I would rather have left it alone, but we don't always get what we want. I didn't have any messages waiting for me which meant that Carrie was probably having the time of her life with Susan and the kids.
At least one of us could have some peace.
As if it had been waiting for that thought, my phone went off flashing the same random number as before, a text this time though. Not a call. Two words graced the screen: Come out. I started to take the back off of the phone when the phone when off again. I made the stupid mistake of turning the phone over to check the text.
Or can Carrie come out and play?
I think that I dropped my phone then, but I don't really remember. It was all too much of a blur. I just remember the fear, the horror of knowing that they could go after my sister if I didn't do something. I just know that I was outside. I couldn't even tell you if I had walked or ran, though I think I ran because I felt breathless and I could hear the back door slamming shut behind me as I looked around at the darkness that had crept up sometime during my shift.
"Where are you?" I demanded. "Don't you dare go near her you cowards! I'm right here!"
"Yes you are."
A hand clasped my arm as I turned to try and see the face that went with the voice. He was a tall man, thin though which surprised me. I had always envisioned him as this giant shadow but in all reality he was probably only three inches taller and very thin. There was something not right about his eyes though. It was like they were dead even as he smiled down at me. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you in person Emma Bryce. But I cannot help but wonder if you take more after your mother or your father."
I wish that I could say that I handled it calmly, but I would be lying. The thought of being compared to my father was bad enough. The thought of being called anything remotely like my mother made me irrational. That was probably why I tried to dislocate his jaw with my fist. He stepped back and reached around me, grabbing my hand and pulling me back. I ended up with my back pressed against his chest and my arms held across my body. "Get off me," I hissed.
"Tsk, tsk Miss Bryce. I only came here for a civil word," he promised.
I snorted. "You'll have to forgive me when I say that I don't believe you," I snapped. "Now let go of me!"
He sighed and I could feel him shake his head. "I don't believe you Miss Bryce. Not after that display of unnecessary violence."
"You threatened my sister," I growled.
"Actually, I simply pointed out that we could bring your sister into this or we could keep it between the two of us. There's a difference sweetheart. Besides," he reasoned. "You wouldn't talk to me earlier. I had to say something to get you to come outside."
I took a deep breath and tried to make myself relax. "Alright, fine. What is this civil word that you want to have?" I asked trying not to choke on the phrase.
"You've been looking into a matter that interests me," he started.
I jerked and managed to actually pull away and turn around so that I was facing him though he held onto one of my wrists. "And what?" I demanded. "You want me to back off?"
He shook his head. "On the contrary Miss Bryce. I want you to continue your investigation. I would even like you to visit your father. I have a few questions for him, but for various reasons, I'm unable to see him. You can."
"And if I don't feel like seeing my father?" I considered adding several different descriptors but decided against it. I had a feeling that it wouldn't help my case against a man like this. Besides the fact that he might not even believe me. Better to just stick with as many basics as I could manage.
He frowned. "I could say that I would kill you but that sounds so boring and blasé. I could say that I could visit your sister and while effective that's really very unoriginal. So, I thought, maybe you would like to come and visit."
I got a sinking feeling somewhere in the region of my stomach about the time that a hand clapped over my mouth. He let my wrist go as an arm wrapped around my waist and began to drag me backwards across the staff parking area and towards the street.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, in some calm and ridiculously rational part of my mind, I couldn't help but think that it was ironic that I was being kidnapped tonight when only this morning, I had been asking if that would happen. It seemed as if fate had decided that it wanted to oblige me. I was going to have to have a word with her about the whole picking and choosing what she wanted to agree with me on thing.
"You're going to have that conversation with your father and I'm going to keep you close so that I make sure you have that conversation and so that this little transaction can remain as private as possible." He was smiling brightly as I kicked at him. It didn't really work but it made me feel a little better.
The sound of glass shattering heralded the lights going out in our area. For several seconds, it was pitch black as my eyes started to adjust. I could hear the sounds of people falling but that had to be someone tripping wasn't it? And then I saw a body laying on the ground, the neck twisted around at an awkward angle.
I screamed into the hand over my mouth as I tried to pull free. The man holding me seemed to notice the bodies too because he threw me away, my body slamming against the ground as I curled up instinctively. He started to scream, but the sound was cut off before it could actually gain any real volume as the sound of snapping bones took its place.
I was shaking as I looked up afraid of what I was going to see and absolutely certain that I was going to be next. Instead gold eyes were watching me in the darkness. "Emma? Are you alright? Did they hurt you?" Kayne Volkov was staring down at me actually looking concerned.
"You killed them," I breathed. "How could you... you just killed them...didn't you?" I demanded.
"There's no time for that!" he snapped. He decided that he didn't want me to argue with him as he bent down tossed me over his shoulder. "I'm getting you out of here. Clearly it's not safe."
"Put me down!" I cried. "I swear to God I will scream and Colin is a great shot," I hissed.
Kayne paused for a moment gritting his teeth. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't take you away besides the fact that this is kidnapping."
"I can't leave my sister," I whispered.
Kayne was utterly silent and I was afraid that he wouldn't actually put me down. And then I found myself standing on my own two feet facing him. "I'm driving you home tonight," he said as if I would just back down and obey him.
"Sorry, Colin's already taken that job," I shot back. I didn't want to be anywhere near Kayne or his brothers. If one of them was a killer than what was there to stop the other two being ones too? Even if that killing had saved me from being kidnapped.
A smirk touched his lips. "I'm sure he'll understand," he assured me.
I shook my head as I backed up to the dinner's rear entrance. "Oh and Emma?" he called as I opened the door. "Don't tell anyone about this? I thought I should warn you before you bring Colin out and think you're crazy. The bodies are going to be gone in less than a minute maybe two. The last thing you or the diner needs are some dead bodies of clearly questionable men being found. Think of this as me saving you the time and hassle of a visit to a police station."
"You're crazy... aren't you?" I whispered hugging myself.
He shrugged, only his eyes and silhouette visible in the night. "Maybe. But you'll understand soon. I promise. Now get back to work before Colin gets worried about you."
I stumbled back into the diner and closed the door behind me, locking it more out of instinct than anything. "What the hell was that all about?"
I spun around, my hand at my throat before I sighed as I saw Colin standing there with my phone and battery in my hands. I pressed my hand to my face and sighed. "I'm sorry it's just... it was just... it was nothing. Don't worry about it Colin. And I have a ride home."
"Should I be worried Emma?" Colin demanded as I took my phone back.
I gave the man a shaky smile. "No, I'm just stressed. Trust me Colin. I would tell you if something was wrong," I lied. It was a stupid thing to do, but I had seen the result of what Kayne Volkov could do and I knew that I wasn't going to be able to win this tonight. I just had to pick my battles carefully.